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The Cambridge Companion to the City in Literature
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    Beville, Maria and Flynn, Deirdre 2018. Irish Urban Fictions. p. 1.

    Elbert, Monika M. 2018. Nathaniel Hawthorne In Context.

    Michael, Magali Cornier 2018. Twenty-First-Century British Fiction and the City. p. 1.

    Dechêne, Antoine 2018. Detective Fiction and the Problem of Knowledge. p. 89.

    González, José Eduardo 2019. Urban Spaces in Contemporary Latin American Literature. p. 1.

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Book description

From the myths and legends that fashioned the identities of ancient city-states to the diversity of literary performance in contemporary cities around the world, literature and the city are inseparably entwined. The international team of scholars in this volume offers a comprehensive, accessible survey of the literary city, exploring the myriad cities that authors create and the genres in which cities appear. Early chapters consider the literary legacies of historical and symbolic cities from antiquity to the early modern period. Subsequent chapters consider the importance of literature to the rise of the urban public sphere; the affective experience of city life; the interplay of the urban landscape and memory; the form of the literary city and its responsiveness to social, cultural and technological change; dystopian, nocturnal, pastoral and sublime cities; cities shaped by colonialism and postcolonialism; and the cities of economic, sexual, cultural and linguistic outsiders.


'This volume provides a comprehensive examination of the city and its various meanings and contradictions … The book transcends genre, period boundaries and national divisions, making it an important starting point for those interested in any aspect of the city.'

Source: Forum for Modern Language Studies

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Guide to Further Reading

Abraham, Julie. Metropolitan Lovers: The Homosexuality of Cities. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2008.
Agathocleous, Tanya. Urban Realism and the Metropolitan Imagination in the Nineteenth Century: Visible City, Invisible World. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011.
Ahearn, Edward J. Visionary Fictions, Apocalyptic Writing from Blake to the Modern Age. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1996.
Alter, Robert. Imagined Cities: Urban Experience and the Language of the Novel. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2005.
Appelbaum, Robert. Literature and Utopian Politics in Seventeenth-Century England. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002.
Babelon, Jean Pierre. Paris au XVIe siècle. Paris: Diffusion Hachette, 1986.
Bagnall, R. S.Alexandria: Library of Dreams.” Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society 146 (2002), 348–62.
Banciu, Carmen-Francesca. Berlin ist mein Paris. Berlin: Rotbuch, 2007.
Barrows, Susanna. Distorting Mirrors: Visions of the Crowd in Late Nineteenth-Century France. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1981.
Barta, Peter I. Bely, Joyce, and Döblin: Peripatetics in the City Novel. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 1996.
Beaumont, Matthew, and Gregory Dart, eds. Restless Cities. London: Verso, 2010.
Benjamin, Walter. The Arcades Project. Ed. Rolf Tiedemann. Trans. Howard Eiland and Kevin McLaughlin. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1999.
Benjamin, Walter Reflections: Essays, Aphorisms, Autobiographical Writing. Ed. Peter Demetz. Trans. Edmund Jephcott. New York: Schocken Books, 1986.
Benjamin, Walter The Writer of Modern Life: Essays on Baudelaire. Ed. Michael W. Jennings. Trans. Howard Eiland, Edmund Jephcott, Rodney Livingstone, and Harry Zohn. Cambridge, MA: Belknap-Harvard University Press, 2006.
Bennett, Michael, and David W. Teague. The Nature of Cities: Ecocriticism and Urban Environments. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1999.
Bentley, Nick. “Narratives of Cultural Space.” Contemporary British Fiction. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2008. Pp. 160–91.
Berman, Marshall. All That Is Solid Melts Into Air: The Experience of Modernity. New York: Penguin, 1982.
Bernstein, Carol. The Celebration of Scandal: Toward the Sublime in Victorian Urban Fiction. University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1991.
Blanchard, Marc Eli. In Search of the City: Engels, Baudelaire, Rimbaud. Saratoga, NY: Amna Libri, 1985.
Bond, Erik. Reading London: Urban Speculation and Imaginative Government in Eighteenth-Century London. Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 2007.
Booker, M. Keith. The Dystopian Impulse in Modern Literature: Fiction as Social Criticism. Westport, CT: Greenwood, 1994.
Bowlby, Rachel. Just Looking: Consumer Culture in Dreiser, Gisissing and Zola. London: Methuen, 1985.
Boyer, M. Christine. The City of Collective Memory. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1994.
Boyer, M. Christine Dreaming the Rational City: The Myth of American City Planning. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1986.
Brand, Dana M. The Spectator and the City in Nineteenth Century American Literature. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1991.
Brooker, Peter. Modernity and Metropolis: Writing, Film and Urban Formations. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2002.
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Burton, Richard D. E. The Flaneur and His City: Patterns of Daily Life in Paris, 1815–1851. Durham, UK: University of Durham Press, 1994.
Butterfield, Ardis, ed. Chaucer and the City. Cambridge: D. S. Brewer, 2006.
Calabi, Donatella, and Stephen Turk Christensen, eds. Cities and Cultural Exchange in Europe, 1400–1700. Vol. 2 of Cultural Exchange in Early Modern Europe. 4 vols. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2007.
Călinescu, Matei. Five Faces of Modernity: Modernism, Avant-Garde, Decadence, Kitsch, Postmodernism. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1987.
Caws, Mary Ann, ed. City Images, Perspectives from Literature, Philosophy, and Film. New York: Gordon and Breach, 1991.
Chaliand, Gérard, and Pierre Rageau. The Penguin Atlas of Diasporas. Trans. A. M. Barrett. New York: Viking, 1995.
Chambers, Iain. Migrancy, Culture, Identity. London: Routledge, 1994.
Chambers, Ross. “Baudelaire’s Paris.” In Rosemary Lloyd, ed. The Cambridge Companion to Baudelaire. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005. Pp. 101–16.
Chambers, Ross Loiterature. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1999.
Chandler, James, and Kevin Gilmartin. Romantic Metropolis: The Urban Scene of British Culture, 1780–1840. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996.
Chauncey, George. Gay New York: Gender, Urban Culture and the Making of the Gay Male World, 1890–1940. New York: Basic, 1994.
Chevalier, Louis. Classes laborieuses et classes dangereuses à Paris pendant la première moitié du XIXe siècle. Paris: Pion, 1969.
Chisolm, Dianne. Queer Constellations: Subcultural Space in the Wake of the City. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2005.
Coles, Robert, and Randy Testa. Growing Up Poor: A Literary Anthology. New York: New Press, 2002.
Connor, Steven. Postmodernist Culture: An Introduction to Theories of the Contemporary. Oxford: Blackwell, 1989.
Conrad, Peter. The Art of the City: Views and Versions of New York. New York: Oxford University Press, 1984.
Dart, Gregory. Metropolitan Art and Literature, 1810–1840: Cockney Adventures. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012.
Dart, Gregory ed. Re-imagining the City. Special issue of Romanticism 14.2 (2008), v–vi and 81–167.
Davis, Mike. Planet of Slums. New York: Verso, 2006.
de Certeau, Michel. The Practice of Everyday Life. Trans. Steven F. Rendall. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1984.
Debord, Guy. The Society of the Spectacle. Trans. Donald Nicholson-Smith. New York: Zone Books, 1994.
Den Tandt, Christophe. The Urban Sublime in American Literary Naturalism. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1998.
Dharwadker, Vinay. Cosmopolitan Geographies: New Locations in Literature and Culture. New York: Routledge, 2001.
Donald, James. Imagining the Modern City. London: Athlone Press, 1999.
Dougherty, Carol. The Poetics of Colonization: From City to Text in Archaic Greece. New York: Oxford University Press, 1993.
Dowling, Robert M. Slumming in New York: From the Waterfront to Mythic Harlem. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2007.
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Dubois, Jacques. L’Assommoir de Zola. Société, discours, idéologie. Paris: Larousse, 1973.
Dyos, Harold James, and Michael Wolff, eds. The Victorian City: Images and Realities. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1973.
Eaton, Ruth. Ideal Cities: Utopianism and the (Un)Built Environment. New York: Thames & Hudson, 2002.
Edwards, Catharine. Writing Rome: Textual Approaches to the City. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996.
Elliot, Robert C. The Shape of Utopia: Oxford: Peter Lang, 2013.
Ellis, Markman. “Poetry and the City.” In Christine Gerrard, ed. The Blackwell Companion to Eighteenth-Century Poetry. Oxford: Blackwell, 2006. Pp. 532–48.
Emperor, Jean-Yves. Alexandria Rediscovered. Trans. Margaret Maehler. London: British Museum Press, 1998.
Fanon, Frantz. The Wretched of the Earth. Trans. Constance Farrington. New York: Grove Press, 1963.
Feenberg, Andrew, and Jim Freedman. When Poetry Ruled the Streets: The French Events of 1968. Albany: State University New York Press, 2001.
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Fishman, Robert. Urban Utopias of the Twentieth Century: Ebenezer Howard, Frank Lloyd Wright, Le Corbusier. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1982.
Flynn, Carol Houlihan. “Where the Wild Things Are: Guides to London’s Transgressive Spaces.” In Regina Hewitt and Pat Rogers, eds. Orthodoxy and Heresy in Eighteenth-Century Society: Essays from the DeBartolo Conference. Cranbury, NJ: Associated University Presses, 2002. Pp. 27–50.
Forderer, Christoph. Die Großstadt im Roman. Berliner Großstadtdarstellungen zwischen Naturalismus und Moderne. Wiesbaden: Deutscher Universitätsverlag, 1992.
Fordham, George. “Working class fiction across the century.” In Robert L. Caserio, ed. The Cambridge Companion to the Twentieth-Century English Novel. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009.
Foucault, Michel. “Of Other Spaces.” Trans. Jay Miskowiec. Diacritics 16 (1986), 22–7.
Gandal, Keith. The Virtues of the Vicious: Jacob Riis, Stephen Crane, and the Spectacle of the Slum. New York: Oxford University Press, 1997.
Ghent Urban Studies Team, ed. The Urban Condition: Space, Community, and Self in the Contemporary Metropolis. Rotterdam: 010 Publishers, 1999.
Giesecke, Annette Lucia. The Epic City: Urbanism, Utopia, and the Garden in Ancient Greece and Rome. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2007.
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Gluck, Mary Popular Bohemia: Modernism and Urban Culture in Nineteenth-Century Paris. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2005.
Graebner, Seth. History’s Place: Nostalgia and the City in French Algerian Literature. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2007.
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Halbwachs, Maurice. On Collective Memory. Ed. and trans. Lewis A. Coser. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1992.
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